Government efforts welcome but...

HARARE - As reported in our lead story of this issue, pending amendments to the Indigenisation Act of 2007 are most welcome.

What is particularly interesting is that this comes in the aftermath of the Nieebgate Scandal which was exposed by the Daily News. We insist that we have nothing against indigenisation programmes because we believe that all citizens of Zimbabwe must benefit from the country’s resources.

This is why the Daily News embarked on investigations to stop national resources from being taken for free leaving the locals with nothing. We insist that indigenisation should benefit the majority not a few individuals. We also applaud President Robert Mugabe and the entire government for quickly intervening in this saga to rectify the fundamental flaws exposed during implementation of the Indigenisation Policy.

These deals were presided over by Indigenisation minister, Savior Kasukuwere, the National Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Board (Nieeb) without consulting key government structures like the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ), parent ministries and Cabinet.

We are however, not surprised at all that government has taken this decision because implementation of the indigenisation programme was flawed from the onset. What really humbled us and gave the nation hope in the middle of running the story was that Mugabe during his birthday celebrations showed courage in turning against his own minister acknowledging that Kasukuwere made mistakes during implementation.

While Mugabe and his government deserve some praise for listening to advice, we believe in a redistribution of wealth that is transparent and people-driven.

We are totally opposed to the proposals contained in a government white paper to seize majority stakes in foreign-owned mines without paying anything.

The right to the redistribution of economic wealth must be premised on the rule of law and fair value, not expropriation. Today, we reiterate calls made by Mugabe that Kasukuwere needed to and must join hands and work with other relevant government organs so that his ministry will not make the same mistakes.

As we wait for the amendments, we can only hope they are indeed practical and that instruments geared to bring about serious and meaningful empowerment for Zimbabweans from all walks of life will be put in place.

Failure to achieve this will be like undermining Mugabe and destroying the whole purpose of empowerment.
 We hope the amendments will not lead to the chaos that befell the land reform programme whose disastrous consequences are still haunting us today.

Zimbabwe as a nation can no longer afford to do things which fail the public and moral scrutiny.

We also hope that there is serious cognisance of the fact that a “one-size-fits-all” prescription for indigenising all the different sectors of the economy is impractical. - Staff Writer

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